ERIC Number: ED182241
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Sociology Students, Interest, and Course Type.
Gigliotti, Richard J.
The goals of this study were to see if sociology majors are different from other students in what accounts for their interest in classes and secondly to see if the factors producing interest for sociology students vary by the type of class it is. The study was undertaken to help teachers make adjustments which will increase interest, depending on the composition and type of class being taught. Three factors were studied as predictors of course interest: instructor communication, course stimulation, and course applicability. A random sample of sociology majors at a Midwestern University completed a questionnaire for each class they were in. Four types of classes were represented: required courses in and out of sociology and elective courses in and out of sociology. Findings included the following. Instructor communication was considerably less important for sociology majors than it was for students as a whole. On the other hand, course stimulation was a much stronger predictor of interest for sociology majors than it was for other students. There was little difference across the two samples in the importance of course applicability (present or future). The three factors did vary in importance depending on the class type. Instructor communication was the most consistently important explanation of interest for all types of courses. The college instructor still deserved most of the blame or credit for generating student interest. (Author/RM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Revised version of a paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (Boston, MA, August 27-31, 1979).